9:04 AM PT (David Jarman): CO-Sen: It had to happen at some point, given a race where Democratic incumbent Mark Udall has consistently shown leads of 1-2 points over Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, and given a normal distribution of polling results: a poll from a nonpartisan pollster giving Gardner a small lead. (Gardner has also had leads in a couple Republican-sponsored polls, most recently from Magellan in early June.)
And given that the new poll is from Quinnipiac, it's also not too surprising. (Today's poll puts Gardner ahead 44-42, compared with a 45-44 Udall lead in Quinnipiac's previous poll from late April.) Quinnipiac is still fairly new to polling Colorado, and while their polling of most states is exemplary, they've tended to shoot right of the mark in this state; case in point, in their three 2012 presidential polls of Colorado, their results were Romney +5, Obama +1, and, finally, Romney +1. (The actual margin was Obama +5.)
Nevertheless, it's a reminder that this is (and will probably continue to be) a low-single-digit race and not one to be taken for granted. Udall, of course, knows this, as seen not only in his zealous fundraising but also some moves toward the center, like his announced opposition yesterday to two ballot measures that would limit fracking by giving local governments more control over approval.
9:33 AM PT (David Jarman): MS-Gov: If you're already tired of 2014 polls, we've got 2015 polls! Public Policy Polling threw in a gubernatorial question to their MS-Sen-oriented sample, and the results show this will be a pretty uninteresting race compared with that year's other main events in Louisiana and Kentucky. They find Republican incumbent Phil Bryant easily leading the Dems' biggest name here, AG Mike Hood, 44-33, and Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley 49-26. Neither Hood nor Presley has expressed any interest in running yet. Bryant's approvals are 41/31, so he seems to have avoided any major blowback from his Thad Cochran endorsement in the heated Senate primary.
9:38 AM PT (David Jarman): FL-LG: We don't usually cover Lieutenant Governor picks, but this one is noteworthy: Charlie Crist has chosen Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his running mate on the Democratic ticket. Taddeo-Goldstein checks a number of important boxes for Crist; she's female, Hispanic, and from the Miami area (while Crist is from the Tampa area), but she's also a good fundraiser and candidate in her own right. (You may remember her from 2008, where she ran a competitive race against Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.)
10:02 AM PT (David Jarman): MI-Sen: A minor campaign finance mystery has bubbled up in Michigan: Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land has self-funded to the tune of $3 million, but her financial disclosure statements haven't shown bank accounts or other assets in her control that suggest where that $3 million might have come from.
The apparent answer is that it's from joint accounts held with her husband that weren't disclosed. Contributions from a non-candidate spouse, in general, are subject to contribution limits; money from joint accounts is generally OK, though, but the problem here is that the joint accounts weren't disclosed (which, coming from the person previously in charge of Michigan's campaign finance laws as Secretary of State, is somewhat ironic.)
10:07 AM PT (David Jarman): KS-04: Koch Industries, which is based locally in Wichita, recently endorsed incumbent Mike Pompeo in the KS-04 Republican primary against ex-Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who's trying to recover his old job after giving it up for a losing Senate bid in 2010. With that in mind, it's no surprise that Americans for Prosperity (the main ad spending arm of the Kochtopus) is now putting a significant sum into TV and radio ad buys on Pompeo's behalf. No link to the ad yet, but they're spending $410k on ads before the Aug. 5 primary.
10:15 AM PT (David Jarman): Campaign finance: The Washington Post's Philip Bump has an interesting slice-and-dice of donations to the RGA and DGA, that basically confirms a lot of the conventional wisdom about what giving on each side looks like. The RGA had 396 donors, of whom 65 percent were organizations or corporations. The DGA had 1,586 donors, of whom 58 percent were individuals.
Despite that disparity, most of the RGA's money came from select individuals ($13 mil from individuals, including some familiar last names like Koch, Adelson, and DeVos, vs. $11 mil from orgs), while most of the DGA's money came from organizations ($12.8 from orgs, presumably unions, and only $1 mil from that multitude of individuals). The largest individual contribution to the RGA was $2.5 mil while the largest individual contribution to the DGA was $100k; each individual donor who gave to the RGA gave, on average, 86 times what the average individual donor gave to the DGA.
10:22 AM PT (David Jarman): 2Q Fundraising:
OR-Sen: Monica Wehby (R): $955,000 raised; $647,000 cash-on-hand with $122,000 debt
TN-Sen: Lamar Alexander (R): $868,000 raised, $3.41 million cash-on-hand; Joe Carr (R): $218,000 raised, $442,000 cash-on-hand; George Flinn (R): $7,000 raised plus $1.8 million personal loan, $1.66 million cash-on-hand
10:35 AM PT (David Jarman): Ads:
• IA-Sen: VoteVets runs an ad on Bruce Braley's behalf, with a local veteran touting Braley's support for Social Security and biofuels.
• KS-Sen: As soon as Pat Roberts said that he's in Kansas "every time he gets an opponent," you knew it would appear in a pro-Milton Wolf ad. That's exactly what Senate Conservatives Fund has done; despite being rather tapped out from playing heavily in MS-Sen, the SCF managed to round up $209,000 for a buy.
• NH-Sen, NH-02: Americans for Prosperity is out with two boilerplate attack ads in New Hampshire, hitting Jeanne Shaheen and Ann Kuster on Obamacare. National Journal's Hotline says the combined buy is for $1.3 million.
• HI-Gov: It's the least interesting episode of Taxicab Confessions ever: two passengers pile into Neil Abercrombie's iconic taxi (driven by the Governor himself) and get a cheerful guided tour of new building projects around town.
• MI-01: Looks like Dan Benishek's taking a page from Monica Wehby with his new ad: the doctor-turned-Rep. appears in scrubs while a local mom touts how he helped her daughter.